Mammography is the single most effective method for detecting breast cancer in it’s earliest stages.
A mammogram is a special xray of the breast tissue. It is performed by female technologists on equipment designed specifically for this purpose. We use digital equipment which requires the smallest possible amounts of radiation exposure to produce the highest quality imaging.
From a patients point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screen-film mammogram. Both film-based and digital mammography use compression and xrays to create clear images of the inside of the breast. During all mammography exams, a female technologist positions the patient to image the breast from different angles and compresses the breast with a paddle to obtain optimal image quality. Communicate with your technologist to let her know if you are uncomforatable. Keep in mind that more compression means a more detailed and accurate study. Unlike film-based mammography, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologists monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which can mean a shorter time spent in the breast imaging suite.
Unlike film-based mammography, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist’s monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which can mean a shorter time spent in the breast imaging suite.
Questionable areas seen on the routine mammogram are usually benign (not cancer). The question can be resolved in a number of ways. The best way is to compare the current study to a previous mammogram. This is very important and can answer most questions. If we think the questionable area is just a combination of shadows, we can ask for a spot compression, which often separates the tissues. At times the radiologist may recommend an ultrasound of the breast to evaluate a nodule. The ultrasound helps to determine if something is a sold mass or a fluid filled mass. Spot compression, magnification and ultrasound recommendations usually require a return visit for completion.
With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast using special high-resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast, and zoom in for close ups of specific areas of interest. Being able to manipulate images is one of the main benefits of digital technology.
Computer Aided Detection (CAD)
The Computer Aided Detection (CAD) system performs over one billion calculations per film. It is designed to assist radiologists in reducing the number of false-negative readings by drawing attention to areas that warrant a second review.
BREAST CYST ASPIRATION / CORE NEEDLE BIOPSY
Breast Cyst Aspiration is a procedure to remove fluid. This procedure will be done using ultrasound. There is no preparation for the exam.
During the Exam
The aspiration site is cleaned with betadyne and topical anesthetic is applied. The radiologist will locate the cyst using ultrasound guidance and then will insert a small needle into the breast. The cyst fluid is drained into a syringe while the radiologist uses the ultrasound or mammographic image to ensure that as much fluid as possible is removed. The fluid will be sent for further laboratory studies. A band-aid is applied to the skin after the aspiration and the patient can usually return to her normal activities.
Breast Needle Localization
This procedure is performed using ultrasound or mammography to localize a lesion in the breast that cannot be felt (non-palpable). This is done by placing a thin wire with a hook on the end into, or near, the lesion in question so that the surgeon can easily find it in surgery. The wire is passed through the needle and the needle is removed. The wire is secured to the skin after it is placed. The patient is then sent for surgery.